UPDATE: A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who seriously neglected a dog in Chattanooga.

The dog was found wandering with a blue harness and leash on 6th Avenue at the Chattanooga Housing Authority on Monday.

The two-year-old Pit Bull was in good spirits on Wednesday as he licked a McKamey Animal Center staff member's face. Starbuck, as he's called, has come a long way since Monday. 

"He was in really bad shape. I mean probably about the thinnest I've ever seen a dog that's still living," Jamie McAloon, McKamey's executive director said.

His wounds from a blue harness needed immediate attention when he arrived at McKamey.

McAloon believes someone was keeping Starbuck inside.

"Usually a dog with open wounds like that if they're being maintained outside, they'll have fly larva, maggots in their wounds. He was clean as far as that was concerned. That tells us he was being kept inside somewhere," McAloon said.

She also said the young Pit Bull was either being fed very little or not at all for weeks. That's why he's nothing but skin and bones.

"It's nothing that happened overnight. His condition has taken a long time to get to that point. It's so severe," McAloon said.

She hopes a $500 reward from the center will convince someone to speak up about what happened to Starbuck.

"Somebody knows where this dog came from because he's got some very identifiable marks and the fact that he had on a harness and a leash tells us that somebody had him," McAloon said.

The person responsible could face animal cruelty charges and possibly be added to the state's animal abuse registry if they're convicted of a felony.

McKamey helped put one person on the state-wide registry when it launched in 2016.

If you have any information about this case, contact McKamey Animal Center at 423-305-6500 or the tip line at 423-305-6508.


PREVIOUS STORY: McKamey Animal Center is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who neglected and abandoned a dog.

McKamey said a dog was found seriously neglected in the 2500 block of 6th Avenue Monday. The dog was wandering around with a blue harness and leash attached to him.

The dog was not in good condition. McKamey said it was extremely thin and weak.

"Animal cruelty is a criminal offense in Tennessee and we take these cases very seriously. Someone knows who owned this dog and we intend to locate them for questioning. “The dog, affectionately called Starbuck by the McKamey staff also suffered from untreated wounds that were infected and required immediate surgery,” McKamey Executive Director Jamie McAloon said.

McAloon said Starbuck is recovering well from his two surgeries. His physical condition, though, will take a lot longer based on the deprivation of food over an extended period of time.

If you have any information that can help find the responsible party, please contact McKamey Animal Center at 423-305-6500 or the tip line at 423-305-6508. You can also email Jamie McAloon.